- How to choose the right stain
- Sequence of work
- Surface preparation
- Application methods
- Defects in work and ways to eliminate them
- Making wood stain with your own hands
- How to achieve a special effect when staining wood
Stain, as a coating of wooden surfaces, not only preserves the wood, but also enhances its decorative properties. Stain can be used to transform inexpensive woods into valuable exotic woods. Let’s talk about how to properly stain a wooden surface..
How to choose the right stain
Stain or, as it is also called, stain is a finishing coating for wood, which, without painting, favorably emphasizes its structure. It contains a pigment and a base, which can be water, alcohol, oil. Recently, water-based stains based on acrylic resins have become very popular. In addition to being decorative, they have the properties of a good antiseptic..
Another type of stain is wax. A thin film of wax, which forms when the surface is coated with a stain, gives not only a decorative effect of natural wood, but also reliably protects it from water.
When choosing a stain, you must be guided by the following criteria:
- Operating environment (external or internal work). Exterior stain contains UV-resistant pigments.
- Composition safety. In children’s rooms or children’s household items, stains are used without harmful compounds. These include stains that are water, oil or wax based..
- Powdered or ready-made stain. Water and alcohol stains are also available dry. They need to be bred at home. If in doubt that the desired result will be obtained, then it is better to give preference to the finished stain.
- Method of applying stain to the surface. Alcohol stains are best applied with a spray gun, as they dry very quickly and it is difficult to achieve an even coating. Small objects and surfaces are covered with brushes, foam or fabric tampons. For a large finish area, use a spray.
- Interior or exterior design solution. It is important to know that a sample presented in a store often differs in color from what is obtained during finishing. The reason for this may be the different species and structure of the tree, illumination. Even different batches of the same type of stain have differences in shades when coating.
Sequence of work
A high-quality finish is obtained only on a surface free of dust, dirt and grease, without defects in wood processing. If the surface of the wood has already been painted with something, then the old finish must be removed completely. Conifers need to be de-resinated.
The cleaned surface is sanded twice. This is done first with a coarser sandpaper (no. 120), then with a finer one (no. 220). Wood is only sanded along the grain. The resulting dust is removed with a damp cloth, and dirt with some kind of solvent or alcohol..
Only apply the stain on a clean, dry wood surface. In order not to be mistaken with the color of the coating, a test painting is done. A small sample should be taken. First cover it with one layer of wood stain, after complete drying, cover 2/3 of the sample with a second layer. The third layer should cover 1/3 of the piece of wood. This will allow you to choose the finish you like..
The brush can be applied to the prepared surface with almost any stain. Difficulties arise only with an alcohol-based stain due to its rapid drying. The vertical surface begins to be covered from below so that the smudges are not absorbed by unpainted wood. This greatly improves the uniformity of the coating..
The second and subsequent layers can be applied after the previous one has dried. For oil-based stains, the drying process lasts up to 3 days, for water stains – up to 3 hours. Coating is applied along the grain of the wood. When painting the surface with a brush, it is important not to go into adjacent areas that have already been stained. This way you can avoid unwanted stains..
Water-based stains can lift the fibers of the wood. After the first layer, wait until the stain is dry and sand the surface with sandpaper. Then the resulting dust is removed and the surface is covered with the next layer.
The stain is applied with a swab by rubbing. This method is only suitable for small surfaces. A tampon can be made from a piece of foam rubber or thick cloth. Wax stains are applied by this method. It allows you to achieve an even surface coverage. This is especially true for rocks with a porous structure..
Spraying wood stain on a wooden surface is most often used for large areas. Alcohol-based stains dry quickly and are difficult to avoid when applied, for example with a brush or swab. Spraying with a spray gun allows you to achieve a high decorative quality of the finish, regardless of the base of the stain.
Defects in work and ways to eliminate them
When applying the stain, it is very important to avoid smudges, which are quickly absorbed into the wood and significantly impair the appearance of the finish. A small amount of stain on the hand and a thin layer of coating avoids this defect.
You can remove unwanted stains from stains using sandpaper, in a more difficult case – with a plane. You will have to act carefully, gradually removing the darkened section of the wood and smoothing out sharp transitions.
For porous woods, in which the absorption of the coating is uneven, it is better to use wax-based stains or gels stains. They cover the surface with a thin layer and do not penetrate deeply into the wood structure. You can also treat the surface of the wood with a special conditioner, which will prevent the active absorption of the stain.
Defect “apple” occurs when poor-quality pigment thinners or the lack of the skill of applying stain by spraying. Stains appear on a stained surface.
When applying stain with a spray gun, to avoid coating defects, it is necessary to adjust the material flow torch. It should be oval and the spray angle should be approximately 90 °.
Coating defects can arise from poor-quality sanding of the wood surface. In this case, it is necessary to remove the layer and sand it again. Then cover the surface with stain.
The remaining stains of grease, dirt with poor cleaning will appear when the stain is applied. Here, too, it is necessary to remove the poor-quality layer by grinding, clean and degrease the surface. Apply a new coat on clean, dry wood.
Making wood stain with your own hands
There are a large number of folk recipes for making wood stain at home. Various shades of brown can be obtained by preparing a solution of ordinary potassium permanganate. It is necessary to experiment a little to achieve the desired result, choosing the concentration of the solution. The surface stained with potassium permanganate must be protected from fading, for example, with varnish.
Another easy way to stain wood is strong tea brewing. It will give the wood a rich brown hue. Strongly brewed coffee can also be darkened. Natural brown color is obtained by wood treated with a saturated decoction of walnut shells, crushed to a powdery state.
A decoction of oak bark will give the surface of the wood a shade of black. A golden color is obtained when processing wood with a decoction of buckthorn fruits. A red-brown hue can be obtained by treating a wooden surface with a concentrated decoction of onion peels.
How to achieve a special effect when staining wood
An interesting effect of aged boards can be obtained by using, for example, a white water stain as the main tone. After this layer has dried, a layer of gray or black tones of thick wax stain is applied, which will emphasize the texture of the wood. In this way, you can combine stains of different colors..
The appearance of worn, worn planks is obtained by applying water stain to the surface as a background. Without letting it dry, in the right places it is necessary to wipe off a part of the stain, simulating wear. After complete drying, cover the surface of the product with a second layer.
The soaked wood surface is lightly burned with a gas burner to reveal the texture. Firing can only be done after the stain has dried. Next, the surface is brushed with a shoe brush.
A beautiful effect with a pronounced wood structure is obtained by applying the first coat with a white water-based stain. After drying, an oil stain is applied to the main background with the addition of melted wax.
Not all stains have antiseptic properties and can protect wood from the influence of the external environment, so it is better to cover the treated wood with varnish on top to extend its service life.